(image sourced from ‘Writers Write’ on Facebook)
Never underrate your work, no matter what industry you are in. Also never give it away for free.
You live in a capitalist world where everything has a price and if you don’t put one on your work then someone else will. And that same someone will try to undervalue your work for their gain.
You may be thinking;
• I just want people to appreciate my work.
• I won’t be able to get my name out into the world if I don’t offer my work for cheap/free.
• I’m competing against other people in my field who are selling their work for cheap/free.
• People in the artistic field can’t pick their prices because their work is a want, not a need.
Well guess what, if you undervalue your work then so do others. If you think your 10,000 word piece of writing is only worth 99 cents, then so will other people. If you think that large painting you do is worth only $10 then people will only pay $10 dollars for it. It won’t matter if you put a thousand hours of solid work behind it and spent many times more on supplies. If you think that all that time and effort you put into it is not worth much then you are underrating your work. You are telling people that this thing you’ve laboured over is cheap then so do others.
If you went into a book store and had to choose between a $4 and a $20 book and rate the quality of each, you are going to assume that the $20 book is better, simply because someone else decided that it was worth more economically. Never mind that the authors might have spent the same amount of time on their stories, the more value someone puts on something the more valuable it is.
If you create a reputation of creating work for very little money or free, then people will expect you to continue doing that. Why would they pay more for the same quality when they’ve already experienced it for less? You will make your artistic side hobby remain an artistic side hobby. It will never give you any potential monetary reward because you’ve designed it like that. You will never become notable for your work because it is stuck in the realm of the cheap and low quality.
But if you do want to give your work away for free then only do it for charity, because that is different.